Badgers women’s volleyball remain undefeated

Photo by: Charlie Martin

In their first game back since the winter break, the Brock Badgers women’s volleyball team looked to tune up in the weekend double-header against the Nipissing University Lakers. Currently undefeated, a win would move the Badgers to 9-0 in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) regular season, and leave them as the only remaining undefeated team in the province. On the other end of the spectrum, the Lakers are currently ninth in the OUA, sitting one win out of a playoff spot, making this weekend a crucial one for Nipissing at this stage of the season.

The second-ranked team in all of Canadian U-Sports, the Badgers also just returned from a team-building trip in British Columbia, where they got to test their mettle against many of the top teams in the country. By comparison, Nipissing looked to be a comfortable opponent to help ease Brock back into their schedule.

From the jump, this began to prove true.

Brock steamrolled Nipissing in the first set. Though the Lakers captured the first two points off Badger errors, the score quickly got out of hand. Nipissing never put more than three consecutive points together, and eventually dropped the first set 25-12 off a Madison Chimienti service ace.

The second set was not much different.

Though there was marginally more life, the Lakers still could not string together more than three points in a row. Emily Foest, who had been playing a strong game thus far, polished off another dominant set with another ace, winning 25-15.

At the break, a Badgers 3-0 win seemed like a foregone conclusion. Brock was seeming to score at will, and what little points Nipissing could muster consisted mainly of the Badgers’ errors. As long as the Badgers cleaned up some sloppiness, the third set was basically a formality.

Perhaps sensing that their performance would make for a particularly dry piece of writing for a certain Brock Press reporter, the Lakers completely flipped the script.

Though they stayed afloat for the majority of the set, the Badgers never gained any meaningful separation, never pulling ahead by more than three. While Nipissing’s offence woke up, trading points with the indomitable Badgers offence, Brock continued to make unforced errors. Though holding a match point twice, Brock allowed the Lakers to tie the game first at 25, then at 26, before eventually shocking the Badgers 28-26 off a great cross-court kill.

Visibly a little shaken by their mediocre third set, the Badgers played their way into a tight fourth set.

Nipissing refused to back down, taking leads at multiple points down the stretch. Though the Badgers looked to be pulling away late up 21-16, the Lakers refused to go away, losing by a respectable score of 25-22.

With star middle Christina Jovetic sitting on the bench for the match, the offensive reins were passed to some other candidates. Foest was strong all around, with 12 kills, two aces and eight digs. Sadie Dick was equally impressive, with a game-leading 16 kills, to go with five blocks and five digs. As usual, Sara Rohr had a game and team leading 33 assists, and Aleiah Torres had a game and team leading nine digs.

Though obviously not the outcome they were looking for, Nipissing University could be proud of the way that they played on Saturday and looked to take the energy from that match into Sunday. Well, at least the energy from the last two sets.

Brock on the other hand, will be looking to tighten up their play against a much lesser opponent. 

Brock faced off against Nipissing again on Sunday. Recovering from their brief scare on Saturday, Brock put together a methodical effort, beating the Lakers in three sets, 25-13, 25-21 and 25-14. The win pushes the Badgers to 10-0 and leaves them as the only undefeated team in all of U Sports. 

The Badgers play next on Friday, Jan. 14 at home against McMaster University. Their full schedule and results can be found here

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